a+u Architecture and Urbanism Magazine

Nobuyasu Hattori Collaboration in Building a House

A low-cost residence for a married couple and their two children. To minimize the cost, it was designed with a simple grid plan, cutting down on materials. Its form is the result of examining the clients’ needs for space, the surrounding environment and the cost.

The design process was not controlled top-down by the designer; instead, the designer, structural engineer, contractor’s foreman, craftsmen and clients together attempted to work collaboratively and think about how to construct the best home from many perspectives. The construction process was simplified omitting the rafters by laying 5-meter-long roof panels, prefabricated by the contractor, directly on the purlins, supported by columns placed on a 1.8-meter grid.

In the living room, dining room and kitchen, the floor is sunken by 27 cm, and in the living and dining rooms the ceiling is dropped by 185 cm. Between the first and second stories, the finishing is changed, so as to allow increase the perception of horizontal breadth. The gradation of the columns is to emphasize depth while abstracting their presence away.